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  Home / Library & Arts Service / Digital Collections

Digital Collections

  • Digital Collections


    RNLI lifeboat


    The Horgan Collection

    A collection of photographs by the Horgan Brothers' Photographic Studio, documenting the social history, maritime heritage, landscapes and streetscapes of Youghal and its environs from the earliest days of photography and cinema in Ireland. Reproduction rights for these images are owned by the Horgan Family. If you wish to reproduce an image (in a publication or other commercial activity) please contact the Library

    The James N. Healy Collection
    A collection of photographs, posters and programmes from the theatre archive of James N. Healy, well-known Cork actor, writer, producer and founder member of the Southern Theatre Group.

    Castles in County Cork

    This 6 volume collection contains photographs of Cork castles with descriptive and historical notes from various sources. An index of County Cork castles, as well as introductory essays and references are also included.

     I.T.A. Collection 

    This collection formed part of a survey undertaken in the 1940s by the Irish Tourist Association, the forerunners of Bord Fáilte. The topographical and general survey assessed the tourism potential of localities all over the country, including topography, geology, residences of note, sports, accommodation/catering and amenities. This collection relates to the survey undertaken in Co. Cork. 

    (see online exhibition below)

    Colm Creedon Collection

    Colm Creedon lived in Cork city and spent a lifetime devoted to research and writings on the history of trains and railways in Cork and elsewhere. He wrote numerous books and articles regarding Cork's transport heritage. On his death in 2001 the bequest of his archive of notebooks was received by Cork County Library. This comprised 18 notebooks handwritten with his personal photographs stuck in and many annotations. The photographs depict the various trains, railway stations and railway bridges of the time and are primarily a study of the railroads from Cork to all areas of Ireland and also cover the UK and Europe. The notebooks document the history and development of these railroads from approximaely 1866 to the final closure of the lines.

    Cork Historical Guides Collection.

    The Cork Historical Guides are a collection of seven books produced in the 1960s and 1970s. The publications were an initiative of the Cork County Library Committee of the time, written by local historians. They produced these small historic guides to various towns throughout the county, including: Bandon, Crosshaven, Haulbowline (Spike & Rocky Island), Kinsale, Mallow, Newmarket and Youghal.

    Dermot McCarthy Railway Photographic Collection

    Dermot McCarthy was a railway historian, hailing from Clonakilty but living in Bath, England. He amassed a collection of photographs of Cork railways over the years, which he supplied to Cork County Library. The photographs span years from as early as 1901, but most are from the 1930's to the 1960's. The work on digitising this collection is on-going.

    Bandon Town Council Minutes

    Please click here for a link to the entire series of minute books, then click on the image in the catalogue record to access the digitised minute book.

    Upon the disbanding of the town councils in 2014, steps were taken to preserve the history and documentation of these bodies. While the original documents were transferred to Cork City and County Archives, digitised copies were made in advance of this, allowing the valuable information contained in the books to be easily accessed without damaging the originals. The minute books are a useful primary source for anyone with an interest in the history of the town.

    Municipal Corporations: Report of Commissioners on the City of Cork, 1835


    The Wallis Estate and Millstreet

    During the 19thcentury a large portion of the town of Millstreet came under the ownership of the Wallis Estate. In 1901 the estate was sold in the Land Judge's Court. Below is an extract from 'Notes on the History of Millstreet' by Canon Michael Costello and Padraig O'Maidin, published by Aubane Historical Society, outlining the background to the sale. Further documents outline the particulars of the sale and description of each of the 132 lots to be sold, including information on the tenants' names, the yearly rent, the quantity of land and some further descriptions of the tenancy. The map marks each lot in the sale.

    Background to the Wallis Estate Purchase. Copyright of the Aubane Historical Society. Reproduced with the permission of the Aubane Historical Society.

    Wallis Estate 1    Wallis Estate 2    Wallis Estate 3                              Wallis Estate Map

    Online Exhibitions


    Irish Tourist Association Exhibition.

    Cork, Bandon and South Coast Railways

    This exhibition gives an overview of the history of this West Cork line, from its beginnings in the 1840's to its closure in the 1960's. The display focuses on utilising the holdings of the Reference & Local Studies section of Cork County Library. The starting point for the exhibition was the work of the late Colm Creedon, noted railway enthusiast, whose notebooks and published books provided the foundation for the project. Also included are photographs of the line from the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's. Incorporating all the main towns in West Cork, the line connected the southwest of the county with Cork city and in turn the rest of the country. As well as examining the past, the exhibition also looks forward, as possible future plans for the redevelopment of the old railway lines is outlined.

    Cork County Hall, from Inception to Completion

    The exhibition focuses on the long battle to get Cork County Hall built, a campaign which began from the very formation of the County Council in 1899. The exhibition covers the construction phase and the official opening of the County Hall in April 1968 incorporating many old images of the building from the Irish Examiner and also some personal photographs from former employees, along with primary sources held by the Reference & Local Studies section of Cork County Library.

     Foxhole to Rhincrew - The Story of Youghal's Bridges

    This exhibition utilises the resources of the Reference & Local Studies library to recount the chequered history of the bridge connecting Youghal with county Waterford.  Sources used include titles from our Cork Collection and photographs from our Horgan Collection, depicting the social history of the town. Extensive use is made of newspaper holdings, especially the Youghal Tribune and accounts of Council meetings reported in the Council Minute books.


    O'Donovan Rossa Funeral Souvenir Pamphlet

    Please click on the link above to see a digitised version of the souvenir pamphlet produced for the funeral of Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa, Fenian hero, at Glasnevin Cemetery on August 1st 1915.

    As part of the centenary commemorations to celebrate the life of Fenian, Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa, the Local Studies Library compiled the following exhibition. The exhibition provides an overview of O'Donovan Rossa's life and the Fenian movement in general, while the accompanying booklet provides a more detailed narrative of events.



Cork County Library & Arts Service, County Library Building, Carrigrohane Road, Cork.
Phone: 021-4546499 - Email